The good news from South Dakota--that they passed an open-records bill with a contact preference--NOT VETO--is tempered somewhat. Apparently there is still some kind of hold up because some in the legislature believe that mothers were "promised" confidentiality.
Hold on there, ladies and gentlemen! I was not "promised" confidentiality, it was forced on me if I wanted to use the state system of adoption. Anonymity from my child was the biggest problem I had with agreeing with the adoption (other than the sense I was doing something against nature, and I was), and I argued with my social worker for weeks over this provision of the law.
Surrender papers carry no such "promise." In fact, the great majority of women long to be united with their children, if only to learn what happened to them and that they prospered.
Letters and emails are needed to reach the SD legislators who are apparently rethinking this bill, and want to add a contact veto. If you are a first mother, please please take the time to email them.
Just copy the information below into your email and let them know the promise of confidentiality is a crock! And that it has been used to keep records sealed in the face of all evidence to the contrary. A mother does not need or want "privacy" from her offspring. And should she be so heartless as to desire it, the adopted person's wishes in the name of human decency must trumps her. Her right to privacy should not trample another person's right to be able to answer the most basic question of all: Who Am I?
Of course it would be better if we had a hundred South Dakota mothers emailing, but let's let them know, wherever you are from, that a right to "privacy" does not included anonymity from your offspring. And if you are in contact with other first mothers, please urge them to write. The time is now.
To: Representatives Nygaard, Cutler and Dreyer
Senators Jerstad, Dempster and Adelstein
Dear Members of the South Dakota Legislature,
Here are the names and addresses:
Eugenics and the theater, coming up on Saturday.